GENEVA, ILLINOIS — The Chicago Steel (14-4-1-0, 29 pts) fell victim to multiple shots off the post in the third period and dropped a 6-4 contest to the Muskegon Lumberjacks (9-9-1-0, 19 pts) on Friday night at Fox Valley Ice Arena. The 6-4 loss was the first time the Steel have fallen since a 4-2 loss on Nov. 1 to the Youngstown Phantoms.
The Lumberjacks never trailed in the contest, notching the first goal of the night and fighting off multiple Chicago comeback attempts.
A physical opening frame saw the teams battle to a 2-1 mark through 20 minutes.
Just short of five minutes into the game, Cameron Berg was the first skater to light the lamp as the Lumberjack forward gathered a pass and cut from right to left, beating Chicago goaltender Victor Ostman to the top left corner, putting the visitors on top early.
The Steel flexed their power-play muscle just two minutes later as the league’s top ranked unit with the man advantage capitalized for the 26th time in 19 games this season. Tyler Carpenter fed a pass to Matt Coronato who came down the slot and released a howling wrister, beating Lumberjack netminder Jack Williams.
With the goal, Coronato pushed his point streak to three games (3G, 1A) while Carpenter extended his point streak to six contests (3G, 4A).
Alex Gaffney was able to grab the lead for the Lumberjacks as he tucked home a puck after a mad scramble in front of the net to send Muskegon to the intermission with a 2-1 edge.
The visitors extended their lead to 3-1 with a goal from Artem Shlaine early in the middle frame before the Steel struck back.
Brendan Brisson, Matty De St. Phalle and Sean Farrell gained the offensive zone in a 3-on-2 rush, with Farrell pulling the trigger on a rocket that found the top left corner, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
The Lumberjacks were quick to respond once again as Cameron Berg put his club in front by a two-goal margin. The forward was able to bat a puck out of mid-air on a pass from A.J. Hodges, an impressive play to record his second goal of the night.
It looked like the Lumberjacks would take a two-goal advantage into the dressing room as the clock ticked down in the middle frame but Coronato and Mackie Samoskevich spearheaded a furious final minute from the Steel.
Coronato was able to collect his first multi-goal game of the season when he tucked home a pass from Carpenter, the duo’s second connection of the night.
With the goal, Coronato has reached the back of the net in three consecutive contests.
“I’m definitely starting to feel more comfortable. I get a lot of help from my teammates and coaches. It’s starting to click,” said Coronato.
With just 22 seconds left in the period Samoskevich tied up the score at 4-4 when he beat Williams to his blocker side, the forward’s fourth goal of the year.
The game-winning goal came early in the final frame as Dylan Gratton scored shortly after the start of the period. The defenseman’s first goal of the year put the Lumberjacks on top for good on Friday night.
The third period was the period of posts for Chicago as the team hit the iron on multiple occasions.
Despite a four-minute Chicago power play late in the third, Muskegon was able to hold on for the road victory. De St. Phalle was one of the victims of the iron as he rang a shot from the point off the post with three-minutes left in the game.
Steel Head Coach Greg Moore talked about the final sequence.
“On special teams we got a lot of good looks, (Muskegon G Jack Williams) Williams played a great game. We hit a few posts but at the end of the day, four-minute power play at the end there, we’ve got to score a goal,” said Moore
Chicago out-shot Muskegon 41-24 as Williams made 37 saves in the win. Ostman turned away 18 shots between the Steel pipes.
After the Friday night contest, the teams head to L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon for the second matchup in as many days between the clubs.
Following the road contest, the Steel return home on Fri., Dec. 6 for Steel in Space Night at Fox Valley Ice Arena, an evening of out-of-this-world fun!
Chicago Steel Upcoming Games:
Saturday, November 30 at Muskegon Lumberjacks 6:05 pm
Friday, December 6 vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 7:05 pm (Steel in Space)
Saturday, December 7 at Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 7:05 pm
For more information and to purchase Steel tickets, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.